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For those of you that like a nice glass of wine with dinner, a recent study has revealed some exciting news. Researchers have looked at alcohol consumption and its impacts on type 2 diabetes risk.
The Journal of Diabetes Investigation analyzed the data from 15 different studies on alcohol and the risk of becoming diabetic. The study included information on over 390,000 people and spanned over ten years. It aimed to determine if the amount of alcohol or the type impacted the risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. After looking at the data, they found some interesting results that could change the way that we look at the relationship between alcohol and diabetes.
The data study found that anyone who drank one daily (in moderation) had the most significant reduction in diabetes risk. The wine drinkers had a 15% less chance of being diagnosed than those that didn’t drink wine. The authors of the study say that the results formed a “U” shape with a significant reduction in risk with the moderation consumers versus heavy consumers and those that don’t drink at all. They say that the same results were consistent over just about all of the studies that they analyzed, although the significance of the differences varied among studies.
The study also looked at if the amount of alcohol had an impact on the diabetes risk. They separate participants into three different groups: people who had one beverage or less a day, anyone who had one or two a day, and those that had two or more drinks every day. All of the groups were compared to a group of participants that didn’t drink at all or rarely had an alcoholic beverage. Surprisingly, the group that had two or more drinks a day had the highest reduction in the risk for diabetes of all the groups that consumed alcohol.
There are several important factors to consider from the study before you pour your glass. This first thing is moderation is key. The people that had less chance of diabetes were only drinking ONE glass of wine, not a whole bottle. Another aspect to consider is that wine had the biggest benefit of alcohol consumption. While all beverages seemed to reduce the risk, wine had the biggest reductions.
While the results of the study are fascinating, the researchers are not exactly sure why the alcohol drinking lowered diabetes risk. Some of the thoughts were that there is something in alcohol that lowers blood sugar levels which translates into lower diabetes risks.
The other thought was that the increased drinking every day was just a reflection of wealthier participants. Other studies have shown that people with more income tend to be healthier with better access to healthcare that then translates into less risk for chronic conditions like diabetes.
In the diabetic community, we all know that alcohol can have drastic effects on glucose levels, which makes these results even more interesting. Ironically, alcohol could lower the risk of becoming diabetic, but if someone is diabetic, it makes glucose levels worse. As more research is done to examine the relationship between the two, we will probably see even more interesting connections.